[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] ruled [text] Thursday that two Chechen brothers were tortured by the Russian military during their 6-month detention in 2000 and awarded each brother 35,000 ($57,665) compensation. Adam and Arbi Chitayev, captured by Russian forces in April of 2000 and held for alleged ties to Chechen rebels [JURIST news archive], alleged that they underwent torture including electric shocks, exhaustion positions, beatings, strangulation, attacks by dogs, and the removal of skin with pliers. The brothers also claim they helped move bodies of deceased during their incarceration. The ruling marks the first such decision against Russian forces, although commentators previously accused Russia of torture in Chechyna[JURIST report].
The Chitayevs attribute their survival to human rights group Memorial [advocacy website] and to Anna Politkovskaya [JURIST news archive], a crusading Russian journalist murdered in Moscow last year who penned an article highlighting their plight that was published only days before the brothers' release. Previously the ECHR held Russia legally responsible [JURIST report] for the deaths and disappearance of three people in Chechnya. Multiple rights groups and investigatory bodies have previously condemned Russian for rights abuses and torture [JURIST report] in the troubled region. Reuters has more.